Make a Statement in Your Reception Area

Everyone knows that first impressions count whether that’s a job interview or a first date.

So why should your reception area be any different? It shouldn’t.

Take a look at the enormously creative spaces you’d be greeted with when walking into the lobby or reception areas of Skype and Unilever offices. Impressive, right?

However, we appreciate that such works of innovation, design and creativity aren’t within everyone’s reach, in fact I’m not sure we’ve ever walked into an office quite like these. But that’s not to say you can’t create an area that’s just as welcoming on a slightly smaller budget; here are our tips to a reception area to be proud of.

Check out these Inspired Reception Areas for yourself.

Practicality Is Just As Important As Design

A lobby area should be a place where your customer can easily navigate their way to the reception desk, so you must pay close attention to the layout and practical features as well as design and style.

So make sure you plan ahead when designing your reception area, whether that’s the placement of furniture or considerations to your guests comfort. Don’t forget to keep their safety in mind too – you don’t want potential business partners slipping on a wet floor when they walk in.

With inevitable high levels of foot traffic in your reception space people will traipse in mud, water and even snow on occasion so avoid any slip hazards by purchasing an entrance mat, or runner – it doesn’t have to look dull either, you could even incorporate your logo on to it.

After all anything’s more welcoming than a bright yellow plastic ‘slippery surface’ cone.

Why not go one step further and buy an umbrella stand and avoid water dripping throughout the office?

Your Desk Is Probably The Most Important Part of Your Reception

It’s the first thing your guests look for when they walk into your reception. So not only does it need to look impressive and inviting, but where you place it within your space is also key.

Make sure its blatantly obvious where your guests need to head to; there’s nothing worse than walking into a building and not having a clue where to go. Directly opposite the entrance is probably your best bet.

Not only should it look great, but functionality is paramount for your staff to work efficiently Signature Reception Desk from Rainbow Zebraand deal with customers accordingly. Why not take a look at this Signature Reception Desk?

Comfortably seating two people, the Walnut effect and white panel combination desk looks great and retains a sense of unpretentiousness between staff and customer.

One final point here, and it may sound obvious but often a common fail; don’t leave deliveries around your desk. Not only are packs of toilet roll and boxes of office essential unsightly, but your guest doesn’t want to manoeuvre their way round the desk to get your attention.

Don’t Leave Your Guests With A Numb Bottom

Vito Reception Sofa from Rainbow ZebraYour reception area should offer visitors a space where they can sit comfortably and relax whilst they await your arrival. So whilst you may be in awe of that incredible, industrial styled, recycled glass chair, we doubt its going to be the greatest choice of seating for those left waiting.

Comfort doesn’t mean compromising on style.

Firstly make sure your seating area is away from the front door, with a constant flow of traffic you don’t want your guests to be in the direct line of a cold breeze. Larger seating areas with multiple sofas are a source of conversation and friendly atmosphere; a great spot for groups of visitors wishing to discuss business as they wait, whilst additional single chairs amongst the mix are a quiet retreat for individuals.Janus Italian Leather Tub Chair from Rainbow Zebra

Check out these two pieces of reception furniture proving that you can combine style and comfort.

This Janus Tub Chair offers a deep padded seat for additional comfort as well as quality Italian leather. There are also matching 2 and 3 seater sofas.

For a traditional soft look sofa with simple lines for a modern twist, this Vito Reception Sofa (above) boasts a chrome frame and elevated back rest for a unique look. There’s even a matching chair.

Make Sure Your Brand Is Evident

From the first step through your doors your brand should be evident and identifiable to any guest, business partner and customer.

Forget to incorporate your brand and you may as well offer up a make shift desk and a comfy piece of floor whilst they wait.

You’ll notice in the photographs of the Skype and Unilever lobby’s that their logos are extremely evident, in fact they are instantly noticeable. Choose to incorporate your logo within your reception space so that your customers walk in and immediately know they made it to the right building. You could even choose to digitalise your logo on TV screens.

Don’t forget to incorporate company colours too.

Your lobby must be a welcoming space, forget anything that’s intimidating, even if you think it looks great as you need to appear approachable and warm. Ben Murray of the Fourfront Group said “imagine the experience of your guest when they come into your building, and consider how you’d like to be greeted and seated”. In other words, the space can say a lot about your business, so make sure you feed your brand and company values throughout, as well as ensuring your customers are never welcomed by an empty anonymous room.

Posted by Paul Randall
27th November 2014